TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For Parents

Posted March 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Athletic Recruiting

Getting into college is not as simple as it used to be. To stand out in a field of star students, college applicants are expected to shine in the classroom and beyond. Not surprisingly, athletics are taking a more prominent role on the well-rounded student resume. ESPN’s recent study on youth and competitive sports notes that overall, high schools are expanding athletic opportunities for students. Club teams are proliferating, too, separately from school programs. In certain sports like soccer, teens are increasingly foregoing high school teams altogether to play exclusively for clubs—a development that is impacting high school athletic programs ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Driven to Distraction

Beyond the popular refrain, “Don’t drink and drive,” parents should include many more appeals to their sons and daughters as they grab the car keys and head out the door—“don’t dial and drive,” “don’t text and drive,” “don’t reach for the phone and drive,” and “don’t eat and drive.” Dialing, texting, and eating put young drivers at risk. According to an article published in the January 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a novice driver who calls a number on a cell phone while driving increases the risk of an accident by more than 800 percent. Reaching ...

Posted March 19, 2014, 2 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Teens Need More Sleep

I was just speaking to a twenty-something graphic designer about setting up a meeting and was taken aback when he replied, “I am not a morning person. Could we meet after 10:30 am?” He readily admitted that he while he has been out of college and graduate school for a few years, he is still on the “work until the wee hours of the night and sleep in late” schedule. No 9:00 to 5:00 corporate schedule for this young business owner. Our conversation segued into how backwards it seems for high school to start before elementary school when younger kids ...

Posted March 17, 2014, 3:41 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
More Sleep Benefits Teens

Most teenagers equate their high school years with constant exhaustion. This correlation makes sense—teenagers’ intense homework and extracurricular schedule, combined with an 8 a.m. (or earlier) school start time hardly ever results in eight hours of sleep. What if teens could actually be rested when they go to school in the morning? Pushing Back High School Start Times In the last two years, schools in California, Oklahoma, Georgia, and New York have pushed back the start time of high school. More cities and towns are following suit, just as new evidence is coming out, citing the benefits of a later ...

Posted March 17, 2014, 2:16 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Help Your Teen Find a Career

When my daughter Emma was eight years old, she participated in her first gymnastics competition. Her maiden event was her floor routine. Like a pro, she saluted to the judges and waited for her music to come on. But when the music started, she stood there like a deer in the headlights. She had forgotten her entire routine. Elementary School: Olympic Gymnast After an inauspicious start, Emma somehow held it together throughout all the following events—beam, vault, and the uneven bars—but as soon as she got in the car, she broke down in tears, gasping and choking out a question ...

Posted March 16, 2014, 11 a.m. by Vicki Ritterband | View Comments
Medical Marijuana and Teens

Like many parents, Lisa Bonaquist talks with her two teenagers about marijuana. When her 16-year-old argues that compared to alcohol, it’s relatively safe, the Saratoga, New York, mother has a simple retort: “It’s illegal and if you get caught, there are consequences.” At least for now. Legalized Marijuana New York may someday follow in the footsteps of 20 states and the District of Columbia, where marijuana is not quite as illegal as it once was. In these places, physicians may now authorize patients to use medical marijuana for certain purposes, like relieving nausea caused by che- motherapy or treating chronic ...

Posted March 14, 2014, 11 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Careers in Sports

A career as a professional athlete is a dream for many teens. Most of them start playing sports as young as 5 years old and fall in love with their game of choice. When they see big, professional, famous athletes on TV, they most likely aspire to be in their shoes one day.It is often in high school that many teens realize the odds are not in their favor. In fact, according to the NCAA, it is estimated that only 1 in 16,000 high school athletes attains a professional career in sports. That being said, your teenager should not lose ...

Posted March 13, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Teens and Tattoos

Dani Silverstein was a freshman in high school when she first thought about getting a tattoo. Silverstein says, “I am extremely interested in art. I always found amazement in certain designs and pictures. Tattoos are art, and I am all for having art on my body.” Once seen as somewhat alternative, tattoos have become a more mainstream form of self-expression. Celebrities from David Beckham to Justin Bieber have tattoos all over their bodies. Jodie Michalak, Beauty and Cosmetology Editor for About.com, says, “The popularity and acceptance of body art has certainly influenced the younger generation to hop onboard.” A 2013 ...

Posted March 13, 2014, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Scholarships Can Add Up to Big College Savings

With college costs at an all-time high and continuing to rise, it makes sense for high school students to apply for as many scholarships as possible. “Applying for scholarships may seem like a daunting process to students, especially for those already busy getting applications together for college. But for students willing to put in the time and effort, there are many scholarship dollars available," explains April Bell, director at the College Board. Is Your Student Eligible for a Scholarship? College scholarships can be broadly divided into two categories: Financial need-based and merit-based. Many families assume that to receive a merit-based ...

Posted March 12, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Young Wrestler Shows Great Sportsmanship

Several weeks ago, I wrote about two incidents of bad sportsmanship making headlines in teen/young adult sports. But last week, a high school wrestler from Minnesota displayed incredible sportsmanship and character. His actions show how sports can bring out the best in teens and teach valuable life lessons. Stewart's Sportsmanship Malik Stewart, a high school sophomore, did not win the state title last week. The old saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game” was illustrated at the 120-pound state title championship in Minnesota. In a valiant effort, Stewart lost the match to sophomore ...

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